Tell it Well, Part Two: Sought

 Sometimes you have to ask yourself, “If I could only tell one more story, what would it be?”  Tell it Well is my answer.

Part 1: Alone | Part 2: Sought | Part 3: Found | Part 4: Redeemed | Part 5: Bitter

I prided myself on being strong and self-sufficient.  I could handle things, even if I was only a sophomore in high school.  I took the city bus to prenatal appointments, took my vitamins, signed up for childbirth classes, and worked hard at school.  At least, that was what was happening on the outside; in my heart, I was terrified.  I had no idea what the future held for me and my child.  I could not return home with a baby, and I knew my fostermom couldn’t keep us very long.  I dreamed of rescue, for somebody to offer me a place to live in exchange for babysitting their children, for a kind person to take me in, for a relative to say I could stay with them.  I yearned for one person to say, “I will help you.”

Then my boyfriend broke up with me.  I remember the night.  I was babysitting for a woman who worked for the phone company and had free long distance;  I cared for her children in exchange for access to my friends at home.  I had been away from home four months, long enough that life had moved on for my boyfriend.  All of the hope I had that he would take care of us when he turned eighteen evaporated that night.  He told me not to call him when our baby was born.

I curled up on the sofa in that house and cried for what seemed like hours.  I held my arms around my belly, cradling and protecting my baby as best I could.  Many people had talked to me about adoption, but I knew I could not part with my child – I loved him so fiercely. But that night, when the reality that I had nowhere left to turn slapped me hard in the face, I wondered if it was his only hope.  I knew there was no hope left for me.

Although I was completely alone, I found my thoughts drifting to God.  My friend, Marcia, gave me my first Bible and told me that there was a friend who was closer to me than a brother.  She told me that Jesus loved me.  I rather doubted it because if He loved me, why would my life be so dark and desperate?  But God kept showing up and I found myself thinking about Him.  Could He love me?  Did He have answers for this mess of a life?  I couldn’t imagine.

The pressure to place my baby for adoption became relentless.  After all, what did I have to offer my child?  Surely he would become a delinquent and an addict if I tried to parent him.  I was advised to take a piece of paper and write my name at the top on one side and “adoptive parents” on the other side and then make a list of what we each could give my child.  This was a lesson in devastation – and frankly, manipulation.  Any hope I had was crushed in that moment. I feared I would be on the streets with my newborn, which would only bring harm to him.  I told the social worker that I would consider placing him with adoptive parents.

I could dive deep into the tragedy of losing a child to adoption, but that is not the purpose of this story.  What I want you to hear is that Jesus showed up.  He didn’t rescue me from my actions, or save me from the devastation that was about to occur in my life.  I wish I could tell you that He did – but that isn’t the way He chose to redeem my life.

Part 1: Alone | Part 2: Sought | Part 3: Found | Part 4: Redeemed | Part 5: Bitter

Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters and the flood sweeps over me.  Ps. 69: 1 – 2

Lisa 

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

11 Comments

  1. Kelli
    January 11, 2012

    Lisa,
    I am sorry for the pain you have shared. Although I am waiting for Part 3 of your story, I can see that God has birthed more in you through that pain than you ever could have asked or imagined. He has shown Himself to be good, and faithful, and the "great Recycler" -as my mom's friend always says. Thanks for being courageous & sharing your core story with us, Lisa. Praying for you as you share. I know that "reliving it" can feel really raw.
    In Him,
    Kelli

    Reply
  2. Sarah
    January 11, 2012

    Oh Lisa, my heart aches for the decision you had to make at such a tender age. I know God is redeeming, and I can't wait for Part III, but I am just so so sorry. Thank you for telling it well.

    Reply
  3. Ann
    January 11, 2012

    Lisa, I am lifting you up in prayer right at this very moment. I can only imagine how heartwrenching it is to relive it as you write it–not that you don't relive it every . single . day . but writing about a difficult, emotional experience makes it so much more difficult to push away the tears and pain (as opposed to going through the day at normal break-neck speed 🙂
    HUGS! God is using your story for His good–in SO many ways!

    Reply
  4. Laurel
    January 11, 2012

    My heart aches for you, Lisa. Thank you for sharing.

    What makes me the most sad is that you didn't have anyone step in and say, "I'll help."

    Our first grandbaby is due in March. His mommy was an unwed teen … his daddy is our son. While our son was not ready yet to step up and "do the right thing" by this young girl, we embraced her … loved on her … shared Jesus with her … welcomed her in our home. We even invited her to come live with us before or after the baby is born. Even if our son was not yet ready to be responsible, we were fully prepared to help this teen keep her baby, since that is what she desperately wanted. (We also offered to adopt the child, if she decided she could not raise him.)

    I am excited to tell you, that our son has grown up a lot in the past 6 months. He is ready to be responsible. He has fallen in love with this young lady. Just last night … he proposed (with my original wedding ring). They will be married in February. The baby will come in March. We will continue to love on all of them … to share the love of Christ … to help them find their way in this difficult journey.

    As you share … I just cannot imagine the mother of my grandchild being all alone. So sad. So hard. So sorry for all of the pain you endured, yet rejoicing with you for God's redemptive power.

    Hugs!

    Laurel

    Reply
  5. Diane
    January 11, 2012

    Praising the Trinity and thanking you!!

    I am a Mom who lurks, never had the ambition or knowledge to begin my own blog, but, have enjoyed yours for a time! TODAY, I comment to tell you that I understand the "story". I just wanted to tell you thank you.

    Reply
  6. Emily
    January 11, 2012

    Thank you so much for sharing, Lisa. Praying, and looking forward to reading part 3.

    Reply
  7. Hannah Tucker
    January 11, 2012

    I don't have words for this. The lack of plain human compassion, much less Christian kindness is nothing short of heartbreaking. My prayers continue to be with you as you share your redemption story – and I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment.

    Reply
  8. Sara
    January 11, 2012

    This story is such a gift to me. I know that sounds strange, but from what I know of you on your blog (and I believe, because of your honesty, this is the real you) you truly are someone I admire and respect, and to hear these words, this desperation, this love bound up in grief and painful circumstance, gives me even more compassion for the birthmom of my little ones. I know it must be difficult to share this story so publicly. I am blessed to benefit from your telling of it. Thank you.

    Reply
  9. Emily
    January 11, 2012

    I'm so glad we could cry over the keyboard tonight, Lisa, even if it wasn't over coffee in the kitchen. After seeing your beautiful heart in the pages of this blog for such a long time, I must say that I was not surprised that you have learned what it means to be carried by Christ in deep, formative ways. Thank you for sharing what the Lord has done for you. I am praying right now for the ways he is building his kingdom through your faithful story-sharing. May the LORD bless you and keep you, may the LORD make his face shine upon you and give you peace. Thanks again for sharing.

    Reply
  10. jen anderson
    January 11, 2012

    Amazing as always. Its different this time around for me to read it versus hear you tell it. I am experencing it in a new way. thanks for sharing your heart!

    Reply
  11. Julie
    January 12, 2012

    He is there in the darkness. Thank God He's there in the darkest places! Lisa, I can't imagine what you went through. I feel the hopelessness that must have overwhelmed you.

    Reply

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